(News & Editorial/ The April 2013 Arab oil producers conference)
Peak Oil as seen through the eyes of Arab oil producers
11 April 2013, FabiusMaximus.com, by Fabius Maximus
Pasted from: http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/04/11/hirsch-peak-oil-49874/
Summary: One of the world’s great energy experts reports on the view from a energy conference in Qatar. Oil is the fountain of their prosperity, and they well understand how brief the Age of Oil will be.
Reflections by Robert Hirsch on the Conference “Peak Oil: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries”.
Held at Doha, Qatar on 2-4 April 2013
Posted with his generous permission.
“I was fortunate to be among the few westerners invited to attend and speak at this first-of-its kind “peak oil” (PO) conference in a Middle East. The fact that a major Middle East oil exporter would hold such a conference on what has long been a verboten subject was quite remarkable and a dramatic change from decades of PO denial. The two and a half day meeting was well attended by people from the GCC as well as other regional countries.
The going-in assumption was that “peak oil” will occur in the near future. The timing of the impending onset of world oil decline was not an issue at the conference, rather the main focus was what the GCC countries should do soon to ensure a prosperous, long-term future. To many of us who have long suffered the vociferous denial of PO by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and OPEC countries, this conference represented a major change. In the words of Kjell Aleklett (Professor of Physics at Uppsala University, Sweden), who summarized highlights of the conference, the meeting was “an historic event.”
While many PO aficionados have been focused on the impacts and the mitigation of “peak oil” in the importing countries, most attendees at this conference were concerned with the impact that finite oil and gas reserves will have on the long-term future of their own exporting countries. They see the depletion of their large-but-limited reserves as affording their countries a period of time in which they either develop their countries into sustainable entities able to continue into the long term future or they lapse back into the poor, nomadic circumstances that existed prior to the discovery of oil/gas. Accordingly, much of the conference focus was on how the GCC countries might use their current and near-term largesse to build sustainable economic and government futures.
A flavor of the conference can be gotten from the following loosely translated, random quotations:
About the Conference:
• This is a groundbreaking conference.
• The organizers were brave to organize this conference.
• Peak oil provides an incentive to consider important national and regional issues. The GCC is currently working new problems with old solutions.
• Oil revenue represents about 93% of the Saudi budget. Everything is now imported — foreign expertise and most labor. Saudi can’t continue on the current track, because it would lead to a “bad future.” We need radical change.
• After peak oil, will there be great cities, or will Middle East cities end up like the gold mining ghost towns of the old U.S. west?
• So far we have wasted our opportunity.
• Shale oil in the U.S. is so much foolishness and does not invalidate peak oil. We definitely must worry about peak oil.
The Gulf States:
• Political reforms have failed to properly address our lack of democracy and accountability.
• When people are excluded from politics, they get unruly. [Maybe that’s why Homeland Security and all the other government’s ‘3 letter acronyms’ have been buying so much ammo, militarizing US streets, want drones, etc.?]
• Citizens in the Middle East prefer public sector jobs because they pay better than private sector jobs.
• Foreigners are the majority of our populations, typically 80%. [Current attempts to change US laws are an attempt to make the US another 3rd world, same as the Saudi enjoy. Mr. Larry]
• Schools are teaching children “old stuff.” Schools are a disaster. [We’ve heard this many times in reference to US schools too. Mr. Larry]
• The current culture is one of waste. [Like the USA? Deja vu all over again.]
• There are job vacancies in Saudi but local people are not prepared to fill them. Saudi’s go abroad to get advanced degrees but don’t qualify for Saudi jobs, so Saudi must import foreign labor. Aramco did a good job of training Saudi nationals.
• The GCC must educate women and give them greater rights and equality.
• In many countries absolute rulers get the incomes and revenues and not much is left for the people. A selfish dictator does not develop his country. [Wall Street and Too Big to Fail Banks & crony Corporations?]
• The [Arab] legal system is in bad shape and needs attention. [With the political corruption-drama going on in Washington DC, its obvious we have a legal system that’s in bad shape as well. Mr. Larry]
• People read religious literature when they should be reading technical literature. [In the USA we watch low brow entertainment on TV,play video games and spend hours on “Social networking”, Facebook, the Internet… Mr. Larry]
• The region has wealthy, wealthy persons and poor, poor people.
• Rulers must understand that the people must be part of the future. [Who would do he work otherwise. They should try Democracy, just like we in the US have, democracy by Executive Order, democracy by IRS targeting political opponents, democracy by NSA spying on everyone in the country.]
• Future generations must have rights. [No comment. Mr. Larry]
About the world and peak oil:
• Globalization is being broadly viewed more negatively now. When peak oil comes, it will be extremely difficult to maintain.
• High oil prices will impact the world even before the onset of peak oil.
• Peak oil is the most important question in this part of the world.”
B. Reports from Arab peak oil conference in Qatar
13 April 2013, GetRealList.com, Contributed by: Chris
Pasted from: http://www.getreallist.com/reports-from-arab-peak-oil-conference-in-qatar.html
In stark contrast to the Zeitgeist here in America, where it’s all the rage to declare that peak oil is dead and energy independence is right around the corner, there is a very different attitude in the Middle Eastern countries that produce most of the world’s oil exports. For those countries, which are heavily dependent on revenue from their exports, denial about peak oil is simply not an option. I discussed how UAE is preparing for the decline of oil and gas back in January: “Sunrise in the desert.” [Read at: http://www.getreallist.com/sunrise-in-the-desert.html ]
A first-of-its-kind conference on peak oil recently took place in Qatar, organized by Forum of Arab and International Relations in cooperation with Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute. The Qatar Tribune offered some brief coverage [read at: http://www.qatar-tribune.com/data/20130404/content.asp?section=Business4_2 ] of the event, and longtime energy analyst and peak oil author Robert Hirsch compiled some notes [See article A above]. There should also be some notes forthcoming from conference speaker Kjell Aleklett on his blog.
It’s worth pondering the cultural differences that inform such stunning difference of attitude: The world’s top exporters are preparing for the inevitable decline of oil and gas, while the world’s top importer is pretending it’s nowhere in sight.
Consider the fact that you haven’t heard about this on television. Consider how our minds are being kept busy with the circus in Washington DC. Consider the lead sentence of this article:
“In stark contrast to the Zeitgeist here in America, where it’s all the rage to declare that peak oil is dead and energy independence is right around the corner, there is a very different attitude in the Middle Eastern countries that produce most of the world’s oil exports.”
[Be aware and make your long term plans with Peak Oil in mind.
Idea: A family home in suburbia may not be a profitable long term plan, where “long term” means five to seven years (2018-2020+). When the meaning of the April Arab oil conference and petroleum producer concerns are revealed through the global media, petroleum will slowly begin its ascent, long commutes will be less desirable, remote-suburban homes will decline in value…